My journey

For Fapstronauts who are disciples of Christ

  1. Soulherb

    Soulherb Fapstronaut

    After receiving input from @Tao Jones , I decided to post my journal here. My motivations for quitting MO are solely related to my walk with Him, and if I am to succeed in this, it will only be through Him.

    I waited until the end of this first week to start my journal, as the 7-day mark is where the fight gets real for me. This is progress, as there was a time when I couldn’t go 48 hours without MO. But I am neither willing nor called to settle for 7 day increments. All of this must go.

    Why? Pornography, as I mentioned in my introduction elsewhere, was never a problem for me. This isn’t some claim to virtue; rather, I never idolized the female figure so much as the idea of a relationship. As it is for many men, women and sex were hopelessly intertwined, and my lust for a relationship fueled my lust for sex and self-gratification. I didn’t lust after some unattainable object found in media. Instead, I lusted for the flesh surrounding me, whether it was an acquaintance, a colleague, a friend, or even someone else’s wife.

    Perhaps it would be better to say that I wasn’t a serial idolater, but a serial adulterer.

    I have never given into the actual act of adultery in my life, if we use the narrow definition of a sexual encounter with someone else’s wife. Yet, that is only true due to grace and/or fear: either I was too afraid of the consequences (the woman’s husband would have likely killed me) and/or the opportunity was never welded to desire (I shudder as I recall the sister of someone I was once with, and how close I came to destroying so many lives as she sent signals like a flare gun).

    But if we expand that definition to those previously divorced, I am guilty. If we expand it even further to fornication (taking the milk without buying the cow; i.e., theft), then I am further guilty. In fact, I can’t say that any sexual relationship I had was legit: the one time I was married, I did so post hoc to cover for my sin (she got pregnant, and I performed a shotgun wedding on myself out of guilt). And although I love my children dearly, nothing good derived from sin ever justifies the sin.

    And if we expand this definition still further to what Jesus said about the relationship between the eyes and the heart, I am guilty hundreds upon hundreds of times over.

    All of these sins, regardless of severity of consequence, started with a thought born from lust. At the root of all behavior there is, first and foremost, a thought. Thoughts lead to attitudes of the mind and heart, as more thoughts are grafted into the original (i.e., rationalizations). These attitudes percolate into actions, the initial steps we take towards the thing we know we should not do. Actions become behavior as our efforts are reciprocated, and eventually become character.

    I avoided many situations by taking my lust into the privacy of masturbation, rationalizing to myself that I was “letting off steam”, and that this was a good thing so I could avoid a more destructive behavior. But this deception became apparent over time, as the privatization of my lust only led to more lust. When opportunity was presented and I felt cornered, I gave into it.

    When I look back upon the wreckage I have experienced for most my life, it is this one issue which has always been a part of it. It has destroyed everything at one time or another, including relationships, friendships, and even my career. In the event of my career, there were many other factors involved as my enemy circled his wagons around me and hemmed me in until I dropped to my knees. But this issue was the wedge used by my enemy to gain a victory over me as I was scapegoated and paid the price.

    If I am going to clean up this temple and live my life in accordance with a holy God, there can be no compromise with sin. In time, we are faced with a choice regarding our sins: either the sin is removed, or we remove ourselves from His presence. There can be no middle ground. It is as if a fissure begins to open under our feet, and we are forced to choose which side of the fissure we are going to walk on. We may jump back and forth across it for a time but, eventually, the gap widens to a point where jumping will result in losing our footing as we plummet into the hole. I know of nothing else more true of this analogy than this issue of sexual purity, for there is nothing else which contains more consequences.

    It all comes down to a simple question in the end. Do we love and trust Him, or not?

    May I continue to love and trust Him as I leave all of this behind.
     
  2. Tao Jones

    Tao Jones Fapstronaut

    Cheering you on, my friend. Keep turning to Christ and his Truth, using it to combat the lies of PMO. One thought at a time.
     
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  3. George2019

    George2019 Fapstronaut

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    Kind of like you m is my main problem.. I am happily married and working through other factors as well. I am counting as resets the slip-ups ive had.. praying to God that he will fix me and I am noticing improvements as the journey continues. Thanks for sharing your path. May God bless and encourage you.
     
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  4. Soulherb

    Soulherb Fapstronaut

    I was reading journals from others on this site and came across the concept of p-subs. P-subs used to be a much larger problem for me when I worked in the casino (a capstone of my first career in hospitality spanning 4 years). We had so many gorgeous women working there. Many of them could have been in any magazine, television series, or movies. One of my supervisors was, quite literally, the most gorgeous woman I ever saw, real life or media, period. I always knew when she was walking behind me by the slack-jawed stares in the customer's faces. "She's something, isn't she?" I would say with a grin, without turning around. When I first met her, I had to immediately look down at my shoes so it wouldn't happen to me.

    It's difficult to do your job in such a high profile place when you're always walking around with an erection. I had to get over all those scantily-clad p-subs in a hurry. It was there when I read, "I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman." (Job 31:1 - some translations do not use the word "young"). It wasn't easy, and there were times I had to make some lame excuse and walk away. But it was my training ground and I became quite good at it.

    Or maybe I should say, quite deceptive at it. As the years past, the supply of images dwindled until I had none left (that is, whatever was in my memory was exhausted and not arousing). I recently realized that, although I wasn't looking at p-subs and lusting over them in the moment, my mind, starved for material, was diverting my attention as opportunity served, taking a picture and storing it for later, all without any consciousness on my part.

    Our sinful natures are so crafty, aren't they?

    I don't know how those who are married do it. For me, I had to learn the hard way: it is all or nothing. The lizard couldn't just be silenced; it had to die (thanks @Tao Jones for the Lewis upload!). Onward.
     
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  5. Soulherb

    Soulherb Fapstronaut

    Relapse. I talked to my neighbor yesterday, a younger woman I haven't seen in almost two months, ever since I quit smoking and had no occasion to walk outside. We used to talk frequently, and I felt bad that I hadn't taken the time to say hi. After apologizing for being incognito, we had a good conversation. Although my motives were genuine, I felt what I could only describe as a fever afterwards. I remembered she was someone I had lust over once before, and that lust gained a grip on me even though I kept banishing any lustful thought of her. My body was not in agreement with the rest of me, crafting a rebellion that continued into the early morning hours. I finally surrendered, more out of exhaustion and frustration than pleasure. It was a joyless act and I hated it afterwards.

    I have a number of thoughts at this point, any or all of which might be valid, but is not likely complete in perspective. I never repented of my lust for her, and should do so. I think loneliness is a part of the problem. I have made a choice for single-hood because I feel called too, but sometimes I wish it wasn't so, and my neighbor, although not quite the right fit for me, will someday be a suitable fit for someone fortunate to have her in their life. Sexuality has always been tied to healthier desires for companionship, dragging down an honorable desire to something more base. Although my calling is towards single-hood, I have spent most of my life desiring companionship and never finding it. That desire, just like sexuality, is a habit, one that creeps up occasionally, resurrecting my sexuality and, with it, lust. It's all part of the same soup.

    I've told many here to be kind to yourself and to keep at it. Time to take my own medicine. Counter is reset as I begin again.
     
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  6. Tao Jones

    Tao Jones Fapstronaut

    Being a eunuch for the Kingdom is a good calling. I imagine it will become increasingly common in the days ahead. Your efforts along that line will likely be of benefit to many.

    I will pray that God shows you the path toward killing off the salamander of lust once and for all. The sex drive is powerful, but it is not essential for life. It can be either completely eliminated or diverted, I believe. Only in his strength. God bless you, my friend.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
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  7. Soulherb

    Soulherb Fapstronaut

    Day 7 after I stumbled. I haven't added much to this journal, mostly because I am deliberately not thinking about it.

    As I mentioned elsewhere, I'm also quitting smoking. I'm almost to the two month mark (I don't know the day count because I didn't record when I started; all I know is that it was the beginning of July, around the 4th). I've been successful with quitting smoking before, a period of time lasting almost two years before recent events facilitated a relapse (and which prompted my belief regarding quitting fapping).

    Smoking is not one habit; it is several, likely hundreds. Smoking after a meal, smoking when awakening in the morning, smoking after sex, smoking while driving, and smoking as a break while at work are all just a few examples out of many. Some recommended I replace these numerous habits with some other habit (eating carrot sticks for oral fixations, or going for a walk when I take a break from work), while others recommended I abstain from certain activities associated with smoking, whenever possible. I think all of those could be useful for many, but none of them were useful to me. I found that any of these suggestions only made it worse: I became more aware of the addiction when I actively tried to substitute something for it. The substitution reminded me of why I was substituting in the first place.

    I mention that here because I have found no fapping to be the same. Trying to substitute something for the urge simply focuses my attention more on the urge through whatever I substitute. This sometimes includes writing about it. If I add a comment to somebody else's writing, my focus is on helping them and not my self, but reflecting here is only talking about my experience, which causes me to recall various images and situations, which only intensifies urges. Instead, I focus on avoiding any stimulus, whether that is images (online, movies, someone provocatively dressed), memories (don't think of my ex!), or situations and/or places that were associated with sexual activity (not really a problem right now as I'm living somewhere new).

    It's mindfully practicing controlling one's environment and behavior, a worthy alternative for some reading this and one worth considering.
     
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  8. Soulherb

    Soulherb Fapstronaut

    Tomorrow morning when I awake, I will not use a nicotine patch. I have remained committed to overcoming smoking (my second greatest addiction) and its now 2 months. I feel confident that this will continue. As my counter shows, MO continues to be a struggle. With that said, this is the longest I have stayed committed to that effort, even though I stumble and fall frequently. I have often thought of giving up, but I feel like I would be letting others down on this site as well, a useful check in times of doubt.

    I firmly believe each of us has something in our lives that teaches us humility, whether that something is in the mind, the heart, or in the bodily habits of the flesh. Mine have always been bodily habits, and I have learned much about patience, humility and, perhaps most of all, mercy from this. This is my ongoing confession.
     
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